Lions are the only truly social cat

Biology: Lions historically occupied most habitats in Africa (and beyond) aside from extreme deserts and rainforests. They are the most social cat species, with related females forming prides that spend a large proportion of their time together. Males form coalitions that compete for access to females, and may dominate several female pride territories at a time. Lions tend to target medium to large prey, but will opportunistically take other predators' kills or sometimes target smaller prey such as birds and rodents.

Red list category: Vulnerable

Threats: While lion populations show signs of increasing in some Southern African countries, populations in other African areas have declined by 60% and are now extinct or very close to extinct in most of their historical North and West African range. This is largely due to human persecution, where people act on risks (including perceived risks) posed to human life and livestock. Habitat loss and loss of natural prey mainly from bushmeat and poaching have also contributed to their decline.